Welcome to Irene Ritchie's website

 News:  My Facebook Page

International Webnar (Zoom/Youtube) -Kreativitas Dalam Era Pandemi 20 Feb 2021  View info.flier

Youtube link  Talk by Irene Ritchie on ‘Translating/transforming Wayang.’

International Seminar (Zoom/Youtube) -Performance on Wayang November 2020  View info.flier

Youtube link  The story of Water War performed by Ki Eddy Pursubaryanto

A short video: Wayang Kancil and the Corona Virus, convincing all animals in the forest to wear a mask. Performed by the son of my co-writer:  https://youtu.be/ux4QUkkfVxw

Book launch at Kota Gebe January 2020 photos

Gamelan video: Melbourne Community Gamelan (MCG) Videos: A Cornish Lancaran by American composer, Lou Harrison  https://www.facebook.com/melgamelan/videos/469411060448702/

Activities in Yogyakarta and Solo 2019 View some Photos

Sounding the City in Bronze at Melbourne 02December 2018 View event flyer

Puppets and Gongs at Melbourne 23February 2019 View event flyer  View some Photos

Eastern Indonesian activities May 2018, dressing up as villagers at Iwang Gate View some Photos

Youtube link  Sluku Sluku Bathok- funny version sung by Irene Ritchie

Activities in Yogyakarta and Melbourne 2018 View some Photos  wayang: Youtube link    wayang: Youtube link 2

Some recent comments on my Kancil books View pdf

One teacher's approach using Kancil stories and puppets - view image

A YouTube introduction to Kancil's Secret Life by Irene - view video


The Message of Panembahan Senopati - by Irene Ritchie and Endah Suseno in stock.

About the history of a 16th century mosque in Central Java. The book solves the mystery of why the mosque is built in the style of a Hindu temple.





The Prince - by Irene Ritchie and Eddy Pursubaryanto  in stock.







The Shiver on the River - by Irene Ritchie and Eddy Pursubaryanto  in stock.

The Kancil sets off a chain of incidents after injuring the otter's children. A court case is held to determine whether Kancil is guilty or not. Kancil also saves the environment by becoming the hero of maintaining clean water in the river.




Kancil's Secret Life - Retold by Irene Ritchie and Eddy Pursubaryanto   YouTube introduction by Irene  in stock.






 Kancil The Clever Mouse Deer - Retold by Irene Ritchie and Eddy Pursubaryanto    more in stock.






 Kancil The Peace Maker - Retold by Irene Ritchie and Eddy Pursubaryanto   more in stock.






Kancil stories on YouTube:  An interesting program from Kompas TV is on You tube. The program is all in Indonesian and is suitable for all ages but most suitable for senior students. Go to links to view video at the Youtube site.



Kancil's Cancelled Wedding and other stories as told by Irene Ritchie.

The Kancil or mouse deer stories came from the ancient repertoire of Persia, Egypt and Turkey and found their way into Indonesian folk lore hundreds of years ago. A Kancil is a mouse deer, a tiny animal which looks like a combination of a mouse and deer. This little animal has no horns but tusks and its hind legs have projecting heel bones. It has very dark eyes and moves quite gracefully. As the kancil is so small, it must rely on its cunning and intelligence to survive in the jungle. The hilarious tales of the mischievous trickster, Kancil, who is very clever at outwitting the greedy and powerful characters in the jungle, have delighted generations of Indonesians, both adults and children.

 Today these stories are highly accessible through the story telling skills of Eyang Kendro, a Javanese man who spent a large part of his life in America and Hawaii. Irene Ritchie has retold these stories using the voice, dialect and wit of Eyang Kendro. Eyang Kendro first heard these stories as a child sitting on the veranda in the warm, balmy Javanese evenings listening to his parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents way back in the 1930's.

Irene Ritchie first came upon these stories in a book shop in Yogyakarta. She translated them from Indonesian into English for her school students in the early 2000's and found the task of translation so burdensome that she took it upon herself to ask her Javanese friends for the Kancil stories they remembered from their childhood and to make them available in English for all interested teachers and keen readers everywhere.

Irene met Eyang Kendro on the internet in an international gamelan list where lovers of the Indonesian percussion orchestra contributed information and ideas. Wayang Kancil or shadow puppet theatre using the kancil stories had a revival in Java in the 1980's and discussions about this genre led Eyang to tell his tales and he received a particularly enthusiastic response from Irene who became the recipient of all his stories over a 3 year period. Eyang Kendro died in 2007 and had already given permission, along with his family after his death, for Irene to write and publish these wonderful tales.

The book is illustrated with full colour watercolurs by Georgina Simmonds.

Stories included:
Kancil's Cancelled Wedding - Kancil finds himself stuck on a scarecrow brushed with sticky sap but is able to trick the farm dog to enable him to escape being made into Kancil stew.

Kancil and The Magic Belt - Kancil saves himself from being the tiger's next meal by tricking the tiger with a story about a magic belt with amazing powers.

Kancil and The Green Rice Puree - Kancil is busy guarding some green rice puree when the tiger comes along and wants it all.

Kancil the Census Taker - Mr. Tiger is chasing Kancil up and down the jungle tracks when Kancil arrives at a river teeming with crocodiles. He devises an ingenious plot to cross the river and escape from the tiger.

Kancil and The Magic Flute - Kancil sets out to teach the tiger the art of fine living by playing a flute. The flute is not what it appears to be and once again Kancil has saved his life by using his wit and intelligence.

Kancil and The Magic Gong - Kancil is enjoying the sounds of a magic gong when the tiger comes along. The tiger gives Kancil the choice of becoming a creeping slug or his afternoon snack. Kancil has a good trick to save himself from either of these choices.


Photos of story telling  view

Puppets in Processing